The Beekeeper’s Apprentice by Laurie R. King
Most of my exposure to Sherlock Holmes comes from episodes of Star Trek: The Next Generation and a VHS cartoon version of The Hound Of The Baskervilles, so I didn’t know that this book’s preface – in which the author Laurie R. King purports to be merely the editor of these manuscripts which arrived in the mail in a big metal trunk – is part of “The Game” that Sherlockians and Holmesians play. That is, that Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was not a writer of fictional detective stories, but a literary agent publishing true accounts written by one Dr. Watson about his friend Sherlock Holmes.
Why then isn’t Watson claimed as the author of the Sherlock Holmes mysteries? I don’t know. But you don’t need to know, and the preface almost threw me off. After the author gets out of the way of her own story, the real game is afoot and the book becomes a pleasantly exciting and not overly mysterious series of adventures involving Mary Russell and her burgeoning relationship with the famous Sherlock Holmes.
This series promises to be a modern and entertaining way to learn about Sherlock Holmes. Definitely recommended for a fun read and I plan to try more books in the series.
In 1915, long since retired from his observations of criminal humanity, Sherlock Holmes is engaged in a reclusive study of honeybee behaviour on the Sussex Downs. Never did he think to meet an intellect to match his own – until his acquaintance with Miss Mary Russell, a very modern fifteen-year-old whose mental acuity is equaled only by her audacity, tenacity, and penchant for trousers.